The state of Ohio is full of pleasant surprises. It’s a wonderful area to visit and live in, and there are lots of family-friendly things to do there. Ohio offers a wide variety of attractions, making it easy to become confused by all the choices. Because of this, we’ve compiled a list of fantastic family weekend trips in Ohio. Ohio offers something for everyone, whether you want to relax, spend time outside, or learn about the state’s history. Ohio is an excellent place for a weekend family vacation because it has a variety of attractions such as theme parks, museums, and natural preserves.
Read on to discover the top attractions and places in Ohio for family weekend trips.
#1. Yellow Springs
Yellow Springs promises a ton of activities, whether it’s a family getaway or a girls’ weekend. The eclectic neighborhood is overflowing with creative cafes like Winds Café and Ellie’s, as well as various locations to connect with nature. It is known for its hippie charm and unique vibe. Explore the 80-mile Little Miami Scenic Trail by bicycle or on foot while passing through the forests of Glen Helen and John Bryan State Parks. You can try a bed and breakfast like the Arthur Morgan House or one of the other Airbnb alternatives in the neighborhood.
#2. Allen County Fairgrounds
Allen County Fairgrounds is one of the most perfect family weekend trips in Ohio. One of Northwest Ohio’s largest outdoor event venues is the Allen County Fairgrounds. Here, events, including markets, concerts, and festivals, are held all year long. The fairgrounds also host horse exhibitions, craft fairs, Christmas light displays, and the Ohio National Championship Motorcycle Races during the off-season in addition to the fair itself, which is a well-liked event.
If you’re displaying animals, you can tent on the fairgrounds, which are close by and have many RV parks. The Allen County Fairgrounds is the ideal location for your family vacation if you want a camping trip that’s still filled with activities.
Don’t miss a weekend in Cincinnati if eating is your favorite part of traveling. Like Over-the-Rhine, sometimes known as OTR, few neighborhoods best represent the city’s rising culinary prominence. Don’t miss Salazar, Senate, and The Eagle, to mention a few of the frequently opening haunts in this area.
From Moerlein Lager House on the lively waterfront that is home to several stadiums to the famous Eli’s BBQ restaurant, which is situated east along the waterfront toward Ault Park, nibbles and brews are plentiful throughout Queen City. Consider staying at the 21c Museum Hotel, a chic boutique hotel in the middle of the city.
#4. Hocking Hills
With gorges, waterfalls, and wineries, central Ohio’s Hocking Hills has everything you might want for a romantic getaway, a family reunion, or a girls’ or guys’ weekend away. Natural attractions like Cantwell Cliffs, Old Man’s Cave, and Conkle’s Hollow are among the highlights of Hocking Hills State Park. When you’re hungry, stop by the understated yet delicious Hocking Hills Winery (try the patio if the weather is nice). Although there are many Airbnb possibilities, you might instead book a hotel at the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls to wake up in the center of this gorgeous park.
Sandusky is located near the Lake Erie Islands on the lake’s eastern shore. It is well known for being the home to Cedar Point, the best roller coaster park in the entire world. There are hotel options available, including The Breakers Hotel and off-site accommodations like Castaway Bay, an indoor waterpark owned by Cedar Point. Two other waterparks in the area are Great Wolf Lodge and Kalahari. Other attractions include bowling, the African Safari Wildlife Park, the Merry-Go-Round Museum, and the Ghostly Manor Thrill Center.
The Ghostly Manor amusement complex includes a roller skating rink, a game area, a mini-golf course, and a haunted house. An old-fashioned carousel ride can be seen at the Merry-Go-Round Museum. There are 400 species total at the 100-acre African Safari Wildlife Park, including llamas, bison, giraffes, and zebras. Sandusky is without a doubt one of the best family weekend trips in Ohio.
Visitors can enter Amish territory through Coblentz Country Cabins. Visitors come from all over the world to this stunning region of the Midwest. These properties feature a variety of cottages located deep in Amish territory, some of which would be ideal for family vacations.
From here, you can access the region’s many distinctive experiences, such as its lovely handcrafted furniture, delectable cuisine, and fresh farm vegetables. The cabins are accessible from the closest towns and provide contemporary conveniences. This is a fantastic option for Ohio family weekends away!
Cleveland, a beautiful city on Lake Erie, is home to numerous family-friendly museums, including the Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland Children’s Museum, Natural History Museum, and Western Reserve Historical Society. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo spans more than 24,000 acres and includes 300 miles of hiking trails, eight golf courses, and eight lakefront parks. The Christmas Story House is open to the public for visits and overnight stays.
Five minutes from the center of town lies Lakewood Park, which has a sizable playground, volleyball nets, a picnic area with grills, a public pool, and tennis courts. The short paved path that leads to the Solstice Steps, a historic construction that provides views of the lake, sunrises, and sunsets, will be enjoyed by older children and adults.
#8. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
This is another one of the well-liked family weekend trips in Ohio. A visit to Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northeast Ohio is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. This 33,000-acre woodland getaway, located 40 minutes south of Cleveland, boasts towering waterfalls, isolated hiking paths, and a white-steeple-marked main town—Peninsula —that looks like something out of a New England picture. Stay at an Airbnb in Peninsula or one of the nearby towns, or rent a place at The Inn at Brandywine Falls.
Include scenic sites like Brandywine Falls and Ledges Overlook in your schedule, and cycle the Towpath Trail with Century Cycles rentals. Nothing beats Sarah’s Vineyard, a winery within the national park noted for its handcrafted wines, woodfired pizza, and vistas of the park.
On the eastern shore of Lake Erie, halfway between Sandusky and Cleveland, sits the lovely New England-style town of Vermilion. With three ancient train terminals, it serves as both a seaside community and a railroad community. Cottages and bed-and-breakfasts, two golf courses, a cooking school, a history museum, a winery, and a lighthouse are among the lodging options in Vermilion. Linwood Park and Main Street Beach are two of the nicest swimming beaches in Vermilion.
One of Ohio’s most gorgeous beaches is believed to be at Linwood Park, and a narrated tour on the Mystic Belle, a little paddlewheel boat, is also advised.
#10. Geneva on the Lake
Since many years ago, the Lake Erie-adjacent Geneva on the Lake has welcomed guests with a range of Ohio activities, including, to name a few, vineyards, boating, and beach access. People of all backgrounds throng to the area, although mother-daughter retreats, family vacations, and romantic getaways are the most common.
Make a hotel reservation at The Lodge at Geneva on the Lake for simple access to the area’s most well-liked attractions. Despite the fact that it can be challenging to drag yourself away from the flavors and scents of Ohio’s wine country, there are restaurants on-site, a shuttle to surrounding vineyards, bike and snowshoe rentals, ziplining, and other attractions.
The capital of the state, Columbus, has something for everyone. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Polaris Mall area, Zoombezi Bay, The Wilds, the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Safari Golf Club, the Hocking Hills State Park, and the Hocking Hills State Forest are all accessible to tourists on Saturday by guided tour.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Safari Golf Club, Zoombezi Bay, The Wilds, Hocking Hills State Park, and Hocking Hills State Forest are all open to tourists on Sunday. There are numerous lodging possibilities, including hundreds of privately owned cabins for rent and year-round camping grounds.
Loveland, a tiny suburb of Cincinnati, is as quaint as small communities in Ohio come. It is ideal for a family vacation because of its historical architecture, lively main plaza, family-friendly eateries, and nature parks. Start your day off on the Little Miami Scenic Trail, which connects to the Loveland Bike Trail via a rails-to-trails project. Then see the lovingly created Loveland Castle, enjoy rollerblading at Castle Skateland, or visit the Little Miami Conservancy to reconnect with nature. Try the stylish and upscale Loveland Lofts for a convenient hotel.
For history buffs, Dayton is among the greatest weekend getaway destinations in the state. Think of the National Museum of the US Air Force, Carillon Historical Park, and America’s Packard Museum as some of the museums in this medium-sized city. However, it goes beyond mere history. With a stay at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, located next to downtown’s waterfront attraction, Riverscape MetroPark, you can enjoy a fully-rounded weekend trip thanks to the Oregon District’s acclaimed brewery and culinary culture as well as the bustling Second Street Market.
Couples and families can enjoy a weekend getaway to Mansfield, which is midway between Columbus and Cleveland and offers a variety of unusual adventures. The filming location for “Shawshank Redemption,” the Ohio State Reformatory, comes first. You can take a tour of the facility, take part in temporary events, or choose the spookiest of all the options: a paranormal tour of the facility led by a knowledgeable guide.
The 150-acre Gorman Nature Center and the nonprofit Ohio Bird Sanctuary are two additional Mansfield attractions. Don’t overlook the nearby winery, The Blueberry Patch, when it comes to food. To stay close to the main attractions, reserve a room at the Hampton Inn & Suites near the Gorman Nature Center.
#15. Catawba Island State Park
This island is one of the most amazing family weekend trips in Ohio. One of the five parks on the islands in Lake Erie is Catawba Island, State Park. Visitors can take advantage of all the Great Lakes activities here, including boating, fishing, hiking, and sightseeing. Even though the summer is the busiest, there are still lots of activities available in the winter since the park is a well-liked location for ice skating and ice fishing.
There are many amenities available at the beach to ensure your comfort while you’re there, including a boat launch for getting into the water. Additionally, the area is home to some unique fauna. It is home to unusual songbirds and fascinating reptiles, in particular.
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#16. Cedar Point Shores
One of the most well-known amusement parks in the nation is Cedar Point. However, the entire place is fascinating. Some of Northwest Ohio’s top resorts, places to enjoy the great outdoors, amusement parks, and water parks are located along the narrow peninsula jutting into Lake Erie. Here, you can find activities and attractions for guests of all ages, including shopping, concerts, kids’ activities, and entertainment on the waterfront.
There are 18 acres of entertainment at the Cedar Point Shores water park, including pools, fountains, waterslides, a big drop slide, cabanas, and food stands. Additionally, Castaway Bay, an indoor water park, is available at Cedar Point. This 38,000-square-foot resort offers lodging and is an oasis.
#17. Common Ground
A retreat place in Oberlin called Common Ground offers quick escapes to people of all ages. It’s a wonderful opportunity for your family to spend time apart while having fun and practicing teamwork. It has zip-line obstacles, a high ropes course, and other features and is situated on 30 acres of private forest.
The retreats offered by Common Ground are ideal for a family weekend away because they feature special tasks that are designed to boost interpersonal skills, problem-solving abilities, teamwork, and emotional intelligence. There are also programs created just for children or adults!
#18. Indian Lake State Park
One of Southwest Ohio’s most well-liked locations for boating, fishing, and water sports is Indian Lake State Park. This lake, which feeds into the Miami River and the Erie Canal, is still a popular destination all year. Tourists throng here in the summer to go swimming, boating, fishing, and hiking. Snowmobiling and ice fishing are still popular activities in the park throughout the winter. The park also has playgrounds and scheduled events on a regular basis.